- Onic Palandjian
Director, Capital Connect Ventures
To start a movement towards Password-free Internet access
Today, there is almost full wireless network coverage in many urban areas - One could roam around and always be connected to Internet if the nodes were open to the public, but due to security concerns, most nodes are encrypted. Many people consider it proper etiquette to leave access points open to the public, allowing free access to Internet. Others think the default encryption provides substantial protection at small inconvenience.
It shouldn't involve any significant risks to open up wireless networks for the public:
The wireless network is after all confined to a small geographical area. A computer connected to the Internet and having improper configurations or other security problems can be exploited by anyone from anywhere in the world, while only clients in a small geographical range can exploit an open wireless access point. Thus the exposure is low with an open wireless access point, and the risks with having an open wireless network are small.
It is very common to pay a fixed monthly fee for the Internet connection, and not for the traffic - thus extra traffic will not hurt.
Where Internet connections are plentiful and cheap, freeloaders will seldom be a prominent nuisance.
On the other hand, in some countries including, persons providing an open access point may be made (partially) liable for any illegal activity conducted via this access point. Also, many contracts with ISPs specify that the connection may not be shared with other persons.